18th February 2020

Takeaway fined over unsafe food

A Chinese takeaway in Derby has been prosecuted for selling food containing peanuts to a customer who informed the business that they had a peanut allergy.

By JTS Staff
Journal of Trading Standards' in-house team
It’s vitally important that food businesses have robust systems in place to ensure that they know what is in the food they serve

A takeaway in Derby has been fined £4,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3,900 after pleading guilty to selling unsafe food, following a prosecution brought by Derby City Council Trading Standards.

In December 2018 Derby City Council received a complaint from a member of the public with a peanut allergy that they had suffered an allergic reaction to food sold by Golden House (Derby) Ltd, trading as New Golden House.

The customer had ordered food using a delivery app and had called the takeaway to tell them of their allergy before placing their order. The app confirmed they had notified the takeaway of their allergy. The customer had kept samples of the food, which trading standards sent to the Public Analyst.

After receiving the complaint, officers from Derby City Council Trading Standards posed as customers with a peanut allergy and ordered the same food as the customer, informing the business of their allergy before ordering.

The meals ordered by the customer and trading standards officers both tested positive for peanut, with one containing 119mg of peanut per kilogram and the other 223mg of peanut per kilogram. The Public Analyst’s opinion was that the food was unsafe to consumers allergic to peanuts.

The case was heard at Derby Magistrates Court on February 13, and the company pleaded guilty to two charges of supplying unsafe food and two charges of selling food which was not of the substance demanded by the purchaser. In summing up, the recorder commented on the thoroughness of the investigation conducted by the Council officers and commended the team for their good work.

Councillor Jonathan Smale, Derby City Council Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Streetpride, said: “Food allergies can have potentially fatal consequences for consumers so it’s vitally important that food businesses have robust systems in place to ensure that they know what is in the food they serve. This prosecution demonstrates our commitment to protecting consumers when those systems have clearly failed.

“I’d like to thank trading standards for their commitment to ensuring the safety of the residents of Derby.”

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